Dela Cruz, delegate to international workshop
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Edison E. dela Cruz of the Department of Biological Sciences is one among those who represented the Philippines in the international workshop held February 24 – 26, 2016 at Pathum Thani, Thailand. The workshop focused on “Opportunity and Impact Assessment for Research Projects: A Methodology with Applications to Industrial Microbial Biotechnology.”
According to dela Cruz, the three-day international workshop started with several lectures on microbial utilization for health and bioeconomy. Speakers of these lectures were researchers from the Netherlands, France, Thailand, Japan and China who talked about researches on vaccine development, CRISPR-Cas technology and synthetic biology for cell re-programming.
On the first day, the participants witnessed the MOA signing between BIOTEC, Thailand and NBRC, Japan. This was followed by lectures highlighting the importance of culture collections in maintaining microbial resources as well as in developing global catalogue for microorganisms.
Assoc. Prof. Don Scott-Kemmis of the University of Technology Sydney (Australia) discussed how researchers can assess and evaluate the impacts of their researches. This included designing priority assessment and road-mapping for the priority research areas. During this workshop, success stories in BIOTEC were also presented. The workshop also included panel discussions by the 12 participants who talked about microbial utilization in the ASEAN region.
In conclusion, dela Cruz said that after the three-day workshop, he realized the need to evaluate UST’s research activities and their impact to the Filipino community. He added that as scientists, there is a need to ensure that researches offer solutions to the problems of the society. As an offshoot, he plans to share the methodologies he learned on impact assessment during the assessment and planning seminars of RCNAS and perhaps also of the Department.
Dela Cruz’s attendance in the workshop organized by the National Center for the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), the National Science and Development Agency (NSDA), and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Thailand was made possible through the financial support of NSDA.